Some 180 experts and representatives of governments, social partners and academia attended the International Labour Organization’s (ILO’s) global forum on boosting skills for a just transition and the future of work, in partnership with Cedefop, on 6 June, in Geneva.

Addressing participants, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder praised Cedefop’s contribution to organising the event, calling it ‘absolutely indispensable’. The partnership was part of a long-standing collaboration between the two organisations in this field.

The forum was organised in the context of the ILO Green Week, the 2019 World Environment Day and the ILO centenary celebrations. Its objectives were to:

  • recognise occupational needs and skills gaps in the context of the future of work, green technological changes and climate action;
  • highlight environmental challenges, effective skills response strategies, and good practices for a just transition for all;
  • discuss potential international collaboration on advancing green human capital to support decent work, and strengthen climate action.

The debate evolved around the results from comparative analysis of 32 national studies conducted in 2017. The key findings of a forthcoming report on Skills for a greener future  (to be published later this year) highlighted the importance of skilling, reskilling and upskilling to address the challenges and grasp the opportunities, particularly in some sectors, but also across economies.

Cedefop’s input involved reporting on six EU countries: Denmark, Germany, Spain, Estonia, France and the UK. The studies aimed at mapping progress in these countries since 2010 concerning the development of new curricula and occupational standards and the update of existing ones, the involvement of social partners and the role of the private sector, changes in pertinent legislation and regulation, as well as the identification of good practices of effective skills initiatives.

Cedefop Acting Executive Director Mara Brugia addressed the plenary at the high-level opening via a video message. Ms Brugia highlighted the impact of the transition to a greener economy on occupations and people’s skillsets and the key role of effective skills responses. She also shared with participants the key findings of Cedefop’s relevant work in the six EU countries.

Cedefop expert Stelina Chatzichristou was responsible for the six national studies and the Skills for green jobs: 2018 update (watch the presentation of key findings). Ms Chatzichristou sat in a panel with ILO experts and discussed opportunities, good practices and challenges stemming from the greening of technical vocational education and training as a response to the transition to a greener economy. You can watch the panel discussion here (from 7:12:20).